Battles and Wars!!

You can win the battles against your opponents by forwarding arguments, emotional blackmail, breast beating and crying but these battles do no good in the long run.

This means that despite knowing that you are at fault you are not inclined to admit them. The greatest impediment in resolving the problem is lack of introspection.

If we examine for a few minutes before going to bed what we have done or talked or what was our behavior towards others, was it justified really or was it the sheer refusal not to admit our faults, we can attain peace and serenity not only for ourselves but for those who we are fighting with.

Second most important fact is to possess the feeling of remorse and admit to the opponent that you were at fault but at the time anger and other negative feelings overpowered us.

By admitting the fault we can fill the opponent with a feeling of confidence and love. Otherwise the beast of mistrust will rear its head again after few days. In the end either of us will be decimated surviver will be left as a repentant fool.

Grey Bellied Cuckoo

The grey-bellied cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus) is a cuckoo with widespread occurrence throughout Asia.

It comes here in the Northern India at the time of outset of the summers. It is a small sized cuckoo. During this time of year another cuckoo known as the Jacobin Cuckoo also arrives.

Grey Bellied Cuckoo pic by Ranjit

Unlike Jacobin Cuckoo which migrates here in summers from Africa, Grey Bellied Cuckoo is short distance migrant.

It comes here for breeding. It is a brood parasite. It lays its eggs by replacing the eggs in the nests of babblers who then raise its brood. This strategy is just akin to the Koel using Crows to raise its chicks.

Judas Peep Hole

The front door of the flat where we lived in Mumbai was fitted with a peeping hole. The person inside upon hearing the bell could check through this glass hole to ascertain who is outside. It was for security purposes. We never knew that this device is called Judas, or Judas hole or Judas peeping hole.

Must be remembering the Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. It was he who is said to have betrayed the Lord. The device is named after him. Judas or Judas peep hole or Judas spy aperture is a device which is fitted in the door. Although these holes allow both the outsider and insider to peep through, Judas hole is considered one way. The person from outside can Spy on the inside.

President Barack Obama looks through the Oval Office door peephole as his personal secretary Katie Johnson watches 3/12/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The device gets its name from Judas Iscariot the twelfth disciple of Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus on Wednesday when he in lieu of some money told the whereabouts of Jesus and agreed to hand Jesus to Sanhedrin. Spy Wednesday gets its name because this is the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is thought to be sneaky, his actions conjured up the image of a spy.

Jesus and Judas

Mongrel Pair

I live in a house which is housed in a enclosure. There are 3 rows of houses on 3 sides, 4th is an open walk. In the centre is a pucca square slightly at a lower level than than the verandahs. In the time of heavy rains, it is full to brim with rain water and looks like a pond. Mostly forced bachelors live here. Many mongrel dogs also inhabit the verandah.

Once I thought that if the authorities dig it and cement it it will become a very good pool where the residents including ladies can swim and enjoy and give water to Sun God.

Anyway two mongrels live in the compound and are very contented because everyone throws food morsels at them often. One is male and another who is younger is a bitch. There was a time when there was blood coming from the female parts of bitch and all around drops were scattered. It happened for many days.

The day it was over, she was not to be seen anywhere. Her companion was sitting alone though not looking depressed because he takes more interest in food than carnal pleasures. We discovered that the bitch is roaming with other dogs outside the compound.

Why did she not chose the one who was with her day in and day out? Why did is elope with distant dogs? Why did she come back and receive the same comradeship from the male?

Flaunting the Assets

If you have lived in Mumbai for a long time and then come to visit Chandigarh and adjoining Panchkula, you would be shocked to see how people in the Northern cities flaunt their wealth. When they drive they think that they are the only ones who are on the road.

They talk on their cellphones, honk incessantly without any patient even if they can see clearly why the traffic ahead is halted. It seems that they have utmost urgent jobs to attend to.

At night, many drive with the high beam lights on making the vehicle drivers coming from opposite side almost blind.

I don’t mean that the people in Mumbai don’t have big cars and other assets. I have seen high end cars lying along the roads in the most neglected style. Mumbai being the economic capital of India, many residents in Mumbai may be having more resources and wealth.

But they don’t display it like they do it in the North. It may be that metropolis is used to heavy traffic since so many years and thus people have become quite disciplined barring some aberrations. In the North, the number of vehicles have exploded exponentially while the distances to be covered are shorter. For example, when we were studying in Chandigarh in during early seventies, there were only few cars to be seen. People used mostly bicycles and at the most well off ones had scooters.

Nowadays there are traffic snarls to be seen at many places. One cannot plan for the future changes many many years early when the city was planned. It should have been a continual change which requires future vision. The problems are increasing by every passing day.

Man Friday

Man Friday is used as an idiom. It refers to a very loyal servant or his master’s right hand man. Nowadays it is more than that. He is the person who is most efficient and helps his seniors to complete the difficult tasks on time and rescue his Boss from embarrassing situations.

He is one of the main characters in the book Robinson Crusoe written by Daniel Defoe. In this novel, Robinson Crusoe spends many years on an island near Venezuela. He chances upon the custom of cannibalism in which this man was to be killed. Crusoe rescues him and the man becomes indebted to  him for whole of his life.

Man Friday

Since this happened on Friday and Crusoe did not understand the language of the man, he names him as Friday. He remained with him for rest of his life and took part in the rescue of many more victims.

Crusoe converted him to Christianity and taught him to speak English. He travels with Crusoe to England and ultimately gets killed in some ambush.

Vegetable Dyes

Third most important group of dyes is the Vegetables dyes group. Although they can be obtained from almost any plant but most important were madder, woad, and indigo.

Madder (Rubia tinctorum),

Madder Plant

A bright red dye, comes from a plant of the same name also known as “dyer’s root.” Though its origin is lost in antiquity, it was used to dye the wrappings on Egyptian mummies.

It is said that Alexander the Great used madder to help him defeat the Persians in 350 B.C. He had many of his soldiers dye their cloaks with splotches of red and stagger onto the battlefield. As the jubilant Persians fell on the “badly wounded” enemy, they were soundly defeated.

Madder appeared in Europe in the seventh century and was the dominant red dye for more than 1000 years. It provided the red for the famous British redcoats during the American Revolution. The chemical responsible for the color is alizarin.

Woad

Woad is a dye from the European plant Isatis tinctoria, has been found on some of the most ancient textile fragments ever unearthed.

It was used to dye the robes of the high priests of Jerusalem in Biblical times, but it was in Europe that it was extensively cultivated. The dye was obtained by first air-drying the woad plants and grinding them to a powder. The powder was then moistened, placed in a warm, dark place, and stirred frequently. Several weeks of fermentation produced a black paste, from which a blue dye was extracted.

The European woad plant had indigo as its main chemical constituent. Woad was the principal European dye for centuries, and dyers became quite skilled at mixing it with other dyes to obtain new colors. Saxon green was the result of dyeing a fabric with woad, then over dyeing it with weld, a yellow dye from another plant. When woad was over dyed with madder, a purple shade resulted.

Indigo

Indigo which is obtained from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, is much richer in the indigo molecule.

This dye worked its way from India to Egypt, the Holy Lands, and eventually Europe, where it arrived around 1200 A.D. Its introduction was bitterly opposed by woad growers. Many laws were passed against use of the “devil’s dye,” and it was widely believed to harm both the cloth and its wearer.

So successful was the anti-indigo lobby that the dye did not become established in Europe for more than 500 years. Then King George II chose indigo for the British naval uniform, giving the world “navy blue” forever after. Indigo was one of the few natural dyes of commercial importance to America.

In 1744 Eliza Pickney grew indigo from seeds her British army officer father brought from the East Indies to the colonies. Later, the enterprising young woman persuaded plantation owners around Charleston, S.C., to grow indigo and set up the Winyah Indigo Society.

This cooperative shipped great quantities of the dye to England, until introduction of synthetic indigo destroyed the market for the natural product. Today indigo has been largely replaced by other blue dyes, though it is still used as the dye of choice for coloring blue jeans.

Mallet Ferry Wharf

Mallet Ferry Wharf! I visited the place. It is a ferry terminus and fish trawlers unloading port in Bombay. Whole area smells of fish even from a distance. Hundreds of fish traders stand on the platform and fish baskets are conveyed to top from boats by ropes and mesh nets.

There are mounds of fish of every kind. Every single inch is covered with sea  fish. There are porters towing it away on the carts. Water drips from the  baskets made of the bamboo carrying the fish. Trucks and tempos  are loaded with the fish for taking it to the different parts of the city. Every boat has a flag and while standing in the parking area these boats  bob up and down in the waters.

Bhaucha Dhakka

A very popular variety of fish called “Bombay Duck” also dries on the ropes in the boats. This fish is cooked both as  fresh or dried and does not have bones. The rows of hanging fish on the ropes look like buntings.

There were fisher women, very fat and strong. The boats which have emptied their catch were parked to one side. The fishermen on them were preparing the food: lentils, rice and of course fresh fish.

Crows pecked at the fish filled in the baskets waiting to be put into the trucks. These seemed to have become bored by eating and eating in plenty. Seagulls caught the floating dead fish thrown out of the boats.

On the right side is the ferry wharf station from where ferries ply to Mora Bunder in Uran and Alibaug, and to Elephanta caves. People wait there on the benches.

Most of them are inhabitants of fishing villages. There are shops selling refreshments in the waiting area. They come here on buses from Mumbai and take ferry for crossing the sea and to avoid the torturous road journey.

The journey is thus reduced from many hours by the land route to an hour or so. In the earlier times, when British were here most of the work force belonged to people from Konkan Ghats and used the sea route for coming to Bombay. Still many people working at the docks belong to this area.

Journey of two lines

Once upon a time many years ago, a dot was born in the space at the origin and began moving forward in the time tracing a line. After sometime, another dot was born and began moving forward tracing a line like the another dot. Their traces were sloped, not parallel. So as the time passed, the lines traced by the dots began converging towards each other.

Then they met and coalesced at a point to become one. No one could discern that these were two lines overlapping each other except on a close examination.

For long years, they travelled forward more or less as a single line with some kinks here and there. Sometimes one colour and sometimes the other colour line was visible. A time came, not suddenly but gradually, they began drifting apart from one another and separated moderately from one another.

After sometime they became parallel to each other. As we know, two parallel lines however close are destined never to meet one another. How long this will continue because sometime or the other one of the dots will stop moving and vanish from the screen. Another lonely dot will continue for the time stipulated by the almighty for it and then there will be no lines. Story will come to an end.

Mass of Higgs Boson predicted by Homer Simpson!!!!!

Homer Simpson seems to have discovered the equation to calculate the weight of the elusive God Particle, Higgs Boson as back as a decade

Many of the episodes of the cult show “The Simpsons” are laced with mathematics. It is said the many people involved in the making of this show are mathematicians

In one such episode called “The Wizard of Terrace” in 1998, Homer Simpson turns into a mathematician and is shown pondering over a equation in front of the blackboard.

The equation is written as shown in the picture below.

If you put the values of all the constants in the equation, you come up with the mass as 13.8169×10-25 kilograms.

The latest value as reported in the respected magazine is of the order of 10-25 kilograms which is remarkably close to the value derived from the formula.

So is it a coincidence or something else? The observation was made by science author and presenter Simon Singh in his forthcoming book.